Happy 3rd birthday, Henry. I love you and I like you.
I brought the camera, took what I thought was a ton of pictures (it was not) but luckily enough to share. No pictures this year of the table, but I did take a picture (after we got home) of the sign we hung on the table:
If you can’t tell what it is, too bad, Henry knew and was very excited. (Sorry, MTA, for going off-brand; I can’t freehand helvetica.)
Henry spent the day trying to escape from the confines of a very large, open field,
figuring out his new bubble shooter,
ditching his party for the playground,
kissing people he loves,
and eating cupcakes.
Happy birthday, Henry. You’re the best.
Happy birthday, my joyful, determined, funny two-year-old. I love being your mom.
In May Henry became 1 year old. We threw him two parties. With a theme, a theme that may or may not have been a last-minute decision based on guilt that I was using my son’s birthday as an excuse to day drink.
Party 1: Gangy and Pop Pop’s backyard
I took a few pictures … of the table I decorated. I wanted my son to know I loved him enough to decorate a table.
And commit to a theme.
We couldn’t feature ALL of the food the Very Hungry Caterpillar eats, because then I would win all of Pinterest.
I did manage to take one photo of my son at his very first birthday party. Probably another idea I stole from Pinterest.
People brought gifts even though I said not to, mostly because I didn’t want to have to open them in front of everyone, which I did. (Thank you, friends and family, for your very kind disregard.)
Party 2: New York City’s backyard (or, Central Park)
Or, the one where I actually remembered to give my child cake at his birthday (and take pictures of him). Or, the one where we learned that an entire birthday party can be transferred half a mile and up a hill with a jogging stroller and a laundry cart. Or, the one where we learned that one of the best decisions we’ve made so far as parents was to set up the party next to a big tree.
We used the same theme. Henry didn’t care.
And Henry ate way more strawberries than the caterpillar (and everyone else at the party).
But this is what he really did all day:
We did convince him to stop pushing the cart around for a few minutes to join in the day drinking.
Then it started raining, a weather event predicted by NO ONE. So we moved the table under the aforementioned tree, where we stayed perfectly dry. Thank you, Central Park.
But not before Henry had his cake.
Followed by a well-documented second piece of cake, as documented by our friend Jay.
And this happened:
This kid is the best.
It’s 12:04, Henry. Exactly one year ago, I heard your sweet voice for the first time.
You sounded like a pig.
Happy first birthday, kiddo. I love you and I like you.
What started as a regular checkup turned into my son’s birthday, a month early. Henry was born at 12:04 p.m., weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces, and measuring 19 inches long.
Because of slightly low thyroid levels brought on by the pregnancy, beginning at week 35 I had weekly appointments in the fetal evaluation unit just to make sure all was okay. On the morning of Henry’s birthday, after a week of consistent abdominal pain from what was determined to be Braxton Hicks (by an awful resident about whom someday I may talk), I felt good and was looking forward to my final weeks of pregnancy. Turns out I would be pregnant for only a few more hours.
After a really great eight months together, for some reason that morning Henry’s heart was decelerating. It would beat normally and then suddenly drop. After sitting in three different positions while on the monitor and having the machine beep a warning every time, I got treated to a wheelchair ride up to the labor and delivery floor for further monitoring. “Should I call my husband?” I asked. They handed me my phone.
I’d be on the phone with my husband often for the next hour and half, sending messages that began with “I’m going to labor and delivery to be monitored if you’d like to come down just in case” and ended with “emergency c-section happening now.” I was talking to my husband on the phone as I was getting the epidural.
Tim got to the hospital right after the c-section was over. We saw Henry for the first time together in recovery. And that healthy, perfect little baby latched right onto my left breast and ate.
Neither Henry or I expected to meet each other that day or to celebrate his birthday so soon, but meet and celebrate we did. It’s hard to believe he’s been here for almost a month, but, right now, it’s also hard to believe he hasn’t always been here.